Thursday, February 23, 2012

Happy February Birthdays!

Happy birthday to John Adams, John Corigliano, and Christopher Rouse!

John Adams's Chamber Symphony (Mvt. 1)

John Corigliano's Circus Maximus

Christopher Rouse's Gorgon 

Saturday, February 18, 2012

Goodbye, New Music in the Media

Dear Alphabet Soup Readers,

We have decided to take down our page "New Music in the Media." While we feel it is very important to discuss new music issues raised in the news, we have decided that if we feel an article or event is noteworthy enough to post and/or discuss on this blog, we will do so on the main page so we can actually have a discussion about it. 

Thanks for your continued readership!

- Natalie & Sarah

Monday, February 13, 2012

I Have Confidence in Sunshine, I Have Confidence in Rain

A year ago I asked the question "Where Are the Female Composers?" and attempted to answer it by briefly touching on the issue of an institutionalized gender gap, among other topics. Sarah addressed the frustrating discrepancies between the male/female demographics in the composition world and the winners of awards in "Competitions and Gender: What's Up with That?" I still feel mostly the same way as I did last year regarding these topics. However, one highly important aspect of the gender gap was left out of our discussion last year: the issue of confidence.

For the most part, I find (in my limited experience) that women are generally unwilling to discuss confidence issues when addressing the gender gap, especially in mixed-gender company. I think we all feel, to a certain extent, that admitting to a lack of confidence or having any kind of self-doubt displays a weakness that can only be harmful to us in this brash, networking, market-driven world.

Thursday, February 9, 2012

Cutting Arts Funding... Again

While politicians are almost always cutting or threatening to cut funding for the arts, and already have to a large extent, this article seemed even more extreme to me than what is usually discussed. The suggestion to cut national arts funding in half when the budget is so small already seems like hitting artists when they're already down. The article is a little old but certainly relevant in light of the Republican primaries and upcoming (ish) election.

Posted by Sarah

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

Our Compositional Core

I recently participated in the Atlanta Opera's 24 Hour Opera Project- a crazy adventure in which mini-operas were written, rehearsed, and performed in- yes, you guessed it- 24 hours. The lyricist (who I had never met before) and I had twelve hours, from 6pm to 6am, to come up with an idea and write both the libretto and music for an entire 10 minute opera. It was exhausting and exhilarating. While many people think these types of 24 hour composing challenges are pretty neat, I would hazard a guess that the projects (and compositions) are generally looked upon as fun and frivolous- never as serious works of art. For the most part, yes, this is a fun event (although very stressful at times!) and a composer is generally not going to write her magnum opus. But I don't think these challenges are frivolous. I actually think they're quite useful to participate in as composers for a variety of reasons, besides the obvious wonderful outcome of having an almost instantaneous performance of your music.